Running a business isn’t getting any less complicated. First and foremost, there’s doing whatever it is your business actually does to serve clients and customers each day. Then there’s cybersecurity, which is a major issue for businesses of all sizes—as evidenced by IBM’s recent reporting that the cost of data breach for a small business increased 13% between 2022 and 2023.
Of course, recruiting and retaining employees remains a challenge, with nearly half of all small businesses struggling to fill job openings. And always, always—since a business needs to grow—there’s the need to improve business capacity.
So, how do you run your business each day, protect it from data breaches, hire and keep employees, AND keep your business growing—all without sacrificing your personal life?
You need a way to get more done while doing less work—which sounds like a contradiction but doesn’t have to be. With the right decisions and technology, you can improve business capacity without wrecking your work-life balance. Read on for how you can accomplish more with less (work).
Improve business capacity by letting someone else handle cybersecurity
You’re in business because you provide a product or service that someone else needs. For instance, if you run an accounting firm, your clients aren’t accountants and don’t want to be.
Along those same lines, you’re not a cybersecurity expert and shouldn’t need to be. Managing cybersecurity is extremely difficult and requires constant refreshing of expertise.
If you’re running a server inside your office, it’s your responsibility to keep your data and your customers’ data secure. The fact is, though, that most small businesses aren’t set up to take up that responsibility alone—and cyberattackers know it. And the size of your business doesn’t matter when it comes to cyberattackers. They are targeting small businesses as well as larger ones.
Your firm or business needs to do what larger companies have done: Invest in cybersecurity. Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase and implement equipment on your own. When you run key business and productivity applications in the cloud, a cloud provider takes care of security for you and stores your information in top-class data centers.
How does all of this help you improve business capacity? It frees up a lot of time and puts you at ease. You don’t have to worry about allocating resources for security management anymore. You can run your business knowing that your data is safe with your cloud provider. That same cloud provider can also help protect the devices you use and train your employees to avoid security threats.
Make work easier for everyone
Hiring remains a challenge for most accounting firms and small businesses, and it likely will for a while, with unemployment rates still at some of the lowest levels in decades. Current and prospective employees both want to achieve work-life balance, and they can generally search for a job that provides what they want until they find it.
In order to keep capacity intact, you need to, at the very least, keep the employees you have and put yourself in a good position to recruit others. One way to do that is to provide the technology they need to do their jobs more quickly and easily. Happier employees are more productive and more likely to stay with your firm or business.
If you don’t have to worry constantly about recruiting and retaining employees, you can improve business capacity by focusing on running your business. And the cloud can help with this too. In the cloud, you can use your favorite existing applications to standardize workflows, so employees always know the status of the projects they’re working on and who’s responsible for which tasks.
With all of your data, your clients’ or customers’ data, and your workflows securely running in the cloud, no one in your firm or business will have to waste time looking for a critical file or scramble to meet a customer request. Everything you need is easily available and shareable with customers in a secure online environment. You and your employees can get more done in less time, meaning you increase business capacity through efficiency and don’t have to spend as much time recruiting.
Maximize efficiency wherever you can to improve business capacity
There are a few other practices that can help you improve business capacity. For instance, if you can automate a process, automate it. The less time employees spend typing numbers into spreadsheets or manually configuring data, the happier and more productive they’ll be. Cloud-based business and tax applications can help with automation on multiple levels.
Don’t be afraid of artificial intelligence. Embrace it wisely. Chatbots such as ChatGPT do have flaws—they don’t validate information, so you’ll need to fact-check anything ChatGPT gives you. And you should never enter proprietary information of any kind into a chatbot. It’s the same as putting that information directly onto the internet.
Still, ChatGPT can write a letter of introduction for a client or customer that you can customize. It can give you a good basis for writing simple marketing and advertising content. Again, you’ll want to customize and verify everything before you make anything public, but ChatGPT can produce good core content in seconds. You can use it to save time in both the ideation and writing processes.
The more your customers embrace your cloud-based technology setup, the more efficiently you can work. An online environment for communicating with customers or clients lets you share data at any time and from anywhere. Moving to online communications cuts out the hassle of missed phone calls and is far more secure than simple email. You can save time and get more done with less effort.
Improve business capacity with the cloud
Increasing your business capacity isn’t just about working smarter. It’s about working smarter with the right tools and the right people in place. Cloud-based applications can ease the burden of managing security and make recruiting staff less of a hassle. When you spend less time with extraneous activities, you can spend more time running the core of your business. And you can get more done with less work.
Accomplish more with less effort in the cloud. Get started today.